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Old 28th November 2016, 22:12   #1
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Default The Chitradurga Fort: Exploring & experiencing this impregnable stone fort!

Paying a visit to explore the magnificent Chitradurga fort was always on our list. To strike it off from our ‘must see places’, we decided to drive down on a Sunday morning towards Chitradurga. The fort is almost close to 220 kms from our home via Bangalore – Pune Highway (NH 4). Atul, our friend Arun, mom and I started from home around 6:45am.

Tanked up Skiddy (our Chevy Beat), filled air, and we were ready to hit the road. Sunday morning, less traffic and the cool morning breeze made the drive worthwhile. In no time we reached NICE Road, paid toll (Rs 120) and drove towards our destination, well, first destination would be a pit-stop for breakfast. Stopped by at this newly opened restaurant called Shree Rathnam (some 70kms from home), they have ample space for car parking. We had some yummy breakfast including rava masala dosa, idly vada, puri sabji and tea. Around 9:45am we started our drive towards the fort.

We could breeze through easily except for the disturbance of toll gates once in a while. If I am not mistaken we crossed some 4 toll gates until we reached Chitradurga (since we were returning the same day, we took both way fares in all the tolls). The route is also very scenic with surrounding mountains and would be welcomed with distant windmills as one approaches the town of Chitradurga. Around 11:30am we reached Chitradurga town and took a detour from the national highway towards the town roads. Located on a plateau, one can view the majestic fort surrounded with rocks, watchtowers, tall green trees and stone hills. We paid an entry fee of Rs 15 per person and entered the main entrance of the fort. Chitradurga fort resembles an ancient city inside those tall old walls. There are couple of small caves before one can take the stairs and enter the main fort area. There were lot of guides to give you a tour around the fort, we decided to explore the place on our own. Considering the time we reached, it was starting to get hot, however, constant mild breeze made the tour through the fort manageable.

The fort was built in stages between the 17th and 18th centuries by the dynastic rulers of the region, including the Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas and Hoysalas as well as the Nayakas of Chitradurga, feudal lords in the Vijayanagar Empire. They were defeated by Hyder Ali at Chitradurga in 1779. Later the fort was expanded and strengthened by Hyder Ali and his son Tippu Sultan. Mythology says that the hills of Chitradurga has association with Mahabharata as well. This is where Bhīma from Pandavas killed a demon and married his sister, Hidimbi.

The fort has seven entrances and they all wind up like a snake. You cross all the doors, pathways and then couple of temples, most precisely the Ganesha temple. On our way up, we could see high rising watch towers surrounded and protected by stones and rock walls. Almost at the top, we could oversee the city of Chitradurga through the fort’s boundary walls. A huge banyan tree within the campus helped people sit, relax and enjoy the surrounding. We explored some more temples, monuments and structures within the fort campus. I personally felt that this place is a heaven for someone who loves clicking pictures of ancient history and monuments. After relaxing for an hour or so we decided to come down as the sun started to hit hard. The entire fort trip took us roughly 3 hours.

1:45pm we started our drive back and had some lunch on our way. After an hours journey, we stopped at a dhaba for lunch. Don’t remember the name of the dhaba now, but, trust me the food they served was amazing. We had some lip smacking chicken fry, chole masala, tandoori rotis and masala omelets, ate till our stomach would burst open.

Returning back was hassle free, crossed all the toll gates smoothly and the traffic wasn’t annoying too. Around 6:30pm we reached home. A Sunday well spent is all you need to kick start with the coming week and this mini trip to Chitradurga fort was quite refreshing.

Here are some of the pics I took during the trip.

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Last edited by Rehaan : 30th November 2016 at 17:24. Reason: Changing Chitradurg to Chitradurga :)
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Old 29th November 2016, 11:13   #2
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Default Re: The Chitradurga Fort: Exploring & experiencing this impregnable stone fort!

So; one more feather in your cap! Slowly and steadily all places are getting exhausted!

There seem to be few local places around this area which also may make sense to visit while combining with this fort. Vani Vilas Sagar is one such example.

Last edited by ampere : 5th December 2016 at 08:18. Reason: Fixed typo
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Old 29th November 2016, 13:51   #3
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Default Re: The Chitradurga Fort: Exploring & experiencing this impregnable stone fort!

Thanks for the crisp trip log.

Had visited Chitradurga fort multiple times in my childhood since my native place Harihar is about 100kms from Chitradurga.

It re-kindled many of the childhood memories of our family outings there.

There is also a famous story of "Onake Obavva" of the fort.
Onake Obavva (18th Century) was the wife of a soldier who stayed within the fort walls. She fought the forces of Hyder Ali single-handedly with a pestle (Onake) in the kingdom of Chitradurga of Karnataka.

The story goes like - One day, Obavva saw some enemy soldiers entering the fort through a hole in fort wall. Since her husband was eating his lunch, she did not want to disturb him. Instead she took the onake / pestle and hit the enemy soldiers on their head and killed many of them silently.

By the time her husband could come to her rescue, she was killed by the enemy soldiers who had over powered her.

There are many famous songs and scenes enacted to depict this story of "Heroics of Onake Obavva".
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Old 30th November 2016, 11:42   #4
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Default Re: The Chitradurga Fort: Exploring & experiencing this impregnable stone fort!

Hi,

A guide would have been useful IMHO, when we were there, we hired one, there are many small small things, which you will get to know, like for example, what do the markings mean on the fort walls, there are specific markings for places to get water etc.

We did the climb also to the highest peak in the temple, breath taking view, and amazing gusts of winds!

We managed to see the monkey man in action too that day.

the video is not taken by me.

Regards
Shailesh
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Old 30th November 2016, 12:10   #5
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Default Re: The Chitradurga Fort: Exploring & experiencing this impregnable stone fort!

Please correct the spelling in your TL to "Chitradurga" - the way it's pronounced correctly.

Last edited by GTO : 1st December 2016 at 08:48. Reason: Correction made, but please keep the tone polite
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Old 5th December 2016, 03:33   #6
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Default Re: The Chitradurga Fort: Exploring & experiencing this impregnable stone fort!

Thanks for the memory recall. Chitradurga is my maternal grand parents place and therefore a place I've gone to for every summer holidays during childhood and beyond thanks to my engineering degree from the local college - SJM Institute of technology.

The fort has been a regular during childhood where our entire extended families would choose to go to for picnics which doubled up as history lessons...mostly about Obavva.

The famous old kannada movie Naagarahaavu was shot entirely in this town and features this fort extensively. Incidentally, some of my relatives were side-actors in this movie too purely for filling the frame.

There has been a legend about the fort - some say, there is a lot of gold stashed in a secret location in the fort that is protected by spirits. This Gold was hidden just before Hyder Ali and his army raided the fort. It is also said that many have died mysteriously trying to extract the same. Not sure how much is true. one decendant of the royal family is said to have been amputated and lost his speech by the spirits. this case was not so long ago even.

While in engineering, myth busting suddenly became a side profession and a few of us mad blokes ventured into the fort via the secret entrance since the main entrance closes at 7pm. We chose the same that Hyder ali and team discovered and used to penetrate the impenetrable fort. We succeeded after many attempts and did wander aimlessly around the eerie fort. Some in the team did say they heard spooky voices but some didn't. Maybe it was panic related and we went out the same way we came in. Nothing untoward has happened to any of us till date. Myth hence busted? Don't know.

@Nandita_bayan21, did you go to Chandravalli caves as well which is next door? thats pretty interesting as well.

Also, did you climb up to Thuppada konda? this is a steep rocky hill one treks to find what used to be, as local legends say, the place where the army stored ghee. Did they treasure Ghee so much or was it to grease the ammunition? don't know exactly. It is steep as hell and horses used to climb up. One can see holes dug out for hoofs.

Last edited by 14000rpm : 5th December 2016 at 03:38.
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